Dumfries and Galloway Council Team Boosts Inclusion

Council Team Boosts Inclusion
Councillor Jeff Leaver

Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Inclusion Support Team works with schools to support pupils who are most at risk of exclusion through early and effective intervention.

The team’s aim is to reduce exclusions and ensure that all children and young people in Dumfries and Galloway schools have access to education that allows them to achieve and attain.

The service:
• Builds the capacity of school staff
• Helps staff to identify early pupils needing extra support
• Supports identified pupils, ensuring that they have access to appropriate mainstream education
• Provides short-term off-site intensive support, with agreed targets and outcomes
• Promotes the wellbeing of pupils, parents and staff

A positive ethos has been identified in school improvement studies as being fundamental to raising attainment. Schools with a positive ethos promote pupil and staff participation, encourage achievement, celebrate success, and have high expectations of every child and young person. These schools have lower exclusion rates and experience less disruptive behaviour.

Restorative, nurturing and solution focused are the three approaches recommended by Education Scotland as being key to preventative work, creating a culture and ethos based on positive relationships and mutual respect. These approaches are integral to the work of the Inclusion Support service in Dumfries and Galloway.

Councillor Jeff Leaver, chair of the Children, Young People and Lifelong Learning [CYPLL] committee, said: “Providing the best start in life for all our children, protecting our most vulnerable people, and being inclusive are priorities for our Council. The work of the Inclusion Support team is an exemplar of these values. In order for young people to have any chance of achievement and attainment, it is vital that they have access to education.”
Councillor Ros Surtees, vice chair, said: “The Inclusion Support Team is a vital component of Getting it Right for Every Child [GiRfEC]. Pupils who are excluded from school are not learning and are at risk. So, it’s vital that we can overcome challenges and deliver solutions to minimise the number of exclusions.”